It's Not Clarice

June 17, 2015:

Mimic discovers Blink is in the mansion except it's not the Blink he thinks she is. Psylocke doesn't seem to be herself either.



NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [* None.]

Fade In…

Cal has been a bit busy lately and while he's tried, he's a bit behind on keeping up with the reports from various X-Men. He's gotten to all the high priority ones and even the medium priority ones but let's face it, Xavier's mutants generate drama and he simple can't keep up with it all. For a change, it's been a slow day and he's going over the reports he didn't have time for. And then he comes to Betsy's. Sitting forward, he rereads it and then stands up. "Clarice?" In a *BLINK* he's standing outside Betsy's suite, knocking at the door. "Clarice?"

Muffled through the door is a petulant, "Good god, people, it's 'CLAIRE'." But the door opens a moment later and there's a fluffy haired, pink, pointed-eared and slightly drowsy Blink standing there, 5' nothing in loose pj-bottoms and a sleeveless shirt. She might have been napping. She'd tell anyone that asked she was doing pilates, because that's what Betsy Braddock told her to do. She rubs her eyes, taking in this person in the doorway. Vaguely, she remembers him from before in the foyer, the familiar sound and the splurt of pink energy. Immediately, her shoulders curl in, anxiety creeping up her spine. "Um. Yeah?" she mumbles.

When the door opens, there can be no doubt. With a big smile, Cal steps forward to wrap Blink in a big hug. "It's so good to see you again!" he exclaims. "But what are you doing here? Why didn't you let me know you were here? Is there a problem? Do you need me to come back to the Panoptichron?"

Hugging was NOT what she expected, and Claire is squirming like mad, kicking even, when she is suddenly grabbed and squeezed by this big man she does not know. Panic has her in a state, her hair-raising across her scalp and down her neck and she's about four seconds from screaming murder.

That was so not the reaction Cal expected. Naturally, he lets Blink go as soon as she starts to struggle and he steps back, obviously both puzzled and worried. "Clarice? What's wrong? Why are you here?" It must be really bad if she's reacting this way.

Blink is rubbing her arms and shaking when he lets her go, gritting her teeth and resisting the urge to slam the door in his face. Something isn't right, Cal is talking to her like he knows her, so either she has amnesia (and she's pretty sure she doesn't), or something else is going on. Maybe she has a twin? "O-o-okay, l-look," she stutters around chattering teeth. "I don't know w-who you are, alright? I just g-got here a week ago, I h-had to come here. I kept-" she begins, and then closes her mouth, peering up at this stranger. "Who -are- you?"

Frowning, Cal studies Clarice and reaches up to run a hand through his hair. "You just got here a week agao." he repeats. "And by 'here', I'm going to guess you mean the mansion and not this reality?"

Blink stares at Cal for a whole minute, and right before it gets awkward, she blurts out, "Wiccan. Wiccan said he was from someplace else. Is that what you mean?" Clarity burns off some of the anxiety. "He was talking about this whole other reality with other X-men and a family and how he wasn't even born here yet. Like that? Is there another me?" Her eyes get big, a reminder that she is -just- out of her teens. "OH MY GOSH. Were we friends? Was I awesome?"

"Calvin," comes Betsy's voice in a tone of harsh British reprimand. Goddamn ninjas, moving sneakily. She sets aside her shopping bags and moves towards Blink, standing next to her with a note of surprising maternal protectiveness on her inscrutable features. She looks down at the girl with a bit of concern in her wide amethyst eyes, then turns a narrow-eyed gaze onto Calvin before looking at Blink again. "Are you all right, Clarice? Deep breaths, focus on your breathing," she says, running her fingernails through the shorter woman's hair. Then she frowns and starts plucking at the wayward strands to try and force them back into place.

"How strange." Cal murmurs. "We'd assumed that the circumstances of the reality that led to you being born were so uncommon, there'd be only one of you. Or at least, none in dissimiliar realities." At least, that was the theory they came up with to explain why they never encountered another Clarice. Looks like they were wrong. He's also talking more to himself than to Clarice and is looking more disappointed as he does so. "Wiccan. Yes, that's exactly the case. And yes, we were best friends. And you were very awesome." Now that he is really looking at her, the difference in age is quite clear. He doesn't react when Betsy makes herself known, having smelled her arrival. "Betsy. Why didn't you tell me who your friend was?" The names of his traveling companions and teammates were in his report about other realities.

Growls, 'Claire' under her breath at Betsy, comfortable with the woman in ways she's not quite yet with other people on her own. She's bouncing on her toes, though, so excited. "You know about my family? I don't know about my family. I-" And her joy fades, trying to dredge up memories before the blood and the self-exile. Her bouncing stops and she scratches her head, then rubs the back of her neck. "Unusual. Like what kind of unusual?" She looks up at Betsy. "Ok, I'm confused again," and she starts to wilt.

"I wasn't aware that I reported to you, Calvin," Betsy says, a bit archly. "Clarice has been on file for some years and I updated it the day that she arrived with her chosen code-name."

~Calvin, please enhance your serenity. Her emotional state is quite fragile as she adapts to our new living situation,~ the purple-haired telepath projects to the other senior X-man.

She kneels down in a prim squat in her wedges, looking up at Blink reassuringly and squeezing the girls' hands. "We're mutants, dear- we're /all/ unusual. Calvin is an expert on dimensional travel and knows a great deal about various life circumstances for all of us. It doesn't mean you're necessarily different /here/," she assures her. "Just that Calvin knew a Clairce in his world who was different than you are. Don't get too hung up on it."

"No, Clarice. I don't know about your family." Cal answers gently. "Like I said, or at least implied, this reality is very different from that of my Clarice. That means the circumstances that led to you being born are very different. Her reality was a very unfortunate one. I didn't know you existed in this reality because of that so I assumed you were her. If you'd like, I could show you some day."

Blink winces and gives up on correcting him. "Did she know how to use my powers? I mean, our powers? I'm having… trouble…" she mumbles, pink cheeks going a little rosier with shame. "I think maybe I killed them."

Clarice, we've talked about this," Betsy says, squeezing Blink's hands pointedly. "Stop dwelling on unknowns. You don't know what happened, or what caused it. Your talents-" Betsy hates the word 'powers'- "will come into their own when you're ready. Focus and meditation are more important than dwelling on nightmares and possibilities."

She rises smoothly and rests a hand on Blink's upper back absently, looking back to Calvin. "Calvin, are you hungry?" she offers politely. "I went into town and picked up some sushi. There's enough for three."

"She did." Cal agrees. "She was very good at it and I'll be happy to teach you to use them just like she taught me." In his hand, forms a pinkish-purple energy javelin. He lets the topic of her parents slide, Betsy having really sid the only thing that can be. "I could go for some sushi. I think we have some beer that would go very well with it too."

It should be observed that despite her age, Blink's maturity is still about that of a 17-year old, the age her powers appeared and she ran off into the woods. So if she kicks her feet or rolls her eyes or huffs under her breath as only a sullen teen can, that's probably why. As it is, she's broody, and while she tries to be polite listening to Cal and -not- sighing at Betsy, Envy contorts her features as Calvin manipulates a talent that is clearly hers, or something she is capable of, and she says nothing else as the senior X-men agree over lunch details. "Focus and meditation," she mumbles. "Right. Got it."

Betsy retrieves her bags and hands them to Blink, pulling several little sushi 'to-go' plates out of them. "Put these in the room for now, dear- I picked you up some clothes and a nightie that will fit you better than my old things will. Then I think we'll go find a nice spot on the roof I used to enjoy with Jean when we wanted to be alone, it's quite sunny out."

The moment Blink disappears into the room, Betsy whirls on Calvin and jabs a finger almost up his nose, ametheyst eyes burning furiously in narrow slits. "She's a very, very delicate thing, Calvin," she hisses, voice barely carrying. "Don't you dare let word one slip about her alternate self, and if she gets hurt trying to learn some 'trick move'…" She trails off, ominously, scowling, her suddenly aggressive posture far more suggestive of a certain implacable ninja assassin than a charming British model.

"I've been handling delicate mutants for longer than you've been using your powers, Betsy." Cal says quietly though with narrowed eyes. "If you know something important about her or her circumstances that we need to know, say it. Otherwise, whatever has you being all over protective, dial it back. She's safe here. This is what we do." As she should well know.

"Don't push me, Calvin," Betsy snarls. There is definitely something about the woman that is a great deal less tractable than normal. Elizabeth had always been headstrong, but this is something else. "And how dare you tell me how to comport myself with my friends. If you think you're so much better than me, then either find your /own/ proteges, or take it up with Charles."

"Clarice, come along dear!" Betsy says, eyes hard, up until the moment the pink-skinned girl emerges from the room, her features inscrutable again, regarding the girl. "No beer for you, but I have some diet soda you can drink."

Blink checks out the clothes in the room, noting that everything is -perfect- and will fit amazingly well, she won't have to roll up Betsy's jeans to make up for the pink-woman's ridiculously short legs. She takes a second to put on new pants but opts for a stolen baggy t-shirt, ignoring Betsy's over-bearing fashion advice out of spite. She ruffles her hair when she comes out. "Just water, thanks," she says. Soda? Ick. "We're heading to the roof to eat?" She frowns, looking from Cal to Betsy's 'frosty' face. Or maybe it was just her imagination.

"A very good idea." Cal agrees as Betsy makes her suggestion. There's definitely something going on here and after Lunair's brainwashing, he's not going to assume abnormal behavior is something that should be overlooked. "On second though, I'll take a rain check on the sushi." he says, smiling at Blink. "Something came up. When you feel up to starting your training, let me know. You can leave a message for me on the central computer system if you can't find me. Ladies." Lifting a hand, he *BLINK*s out.

"Yes, dear, it's quite isolated and comfortable," Betsy says, dismissing Calvin without a second glance. "I think you'll like it. Let's go." She passes one tray of food to Blink and starts walking with leggy strides, frowning down at the girl.

"Do you not like your shirts?"

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